As the international paddling season continues, the South African stand-up paddling team is set to take part in the ICF SUP World Championships in Balatonfured, Hungary, that will be taking place from 9 – 12 September 2021.
Team South Africa will travel to Europe for the competition with a squad of nine paddlers. Four of the paddlers will be taking part in the senior world championships and five paddlers in the Masters categories.
“Our national team is looking strong with Chiara Vorster competing in the Junior Girls category, Chelsea van Rooyen in Open Women and Gareth Mountain and Sinda Simoni in the Open Men category,” president of SUP SA Anja Burger said.
“Chiara has shown strong athleticism in her training for the World Championships and poses a strong force for a podium position. She has taken the last year to focus on surf ski and stand up paddling and it is clear that the hard work has paid off.
“We are also excited to see how Chelsea van Rooyen and Sinda Simoni perform in the sprints, as they have been leaving the crowd behind in training. They will also be competing in the technical and long distance races.
“Gareth is a strong contender for the long distance who shows strength, endurance and speed on long courses. “
Going into the event against the world’s best, Burger believes that the South African paddlers are going to be right up there when contesting for world championship gold medals.
“We know that the competition will truly be on a world-class level but as with previous world championships, including the first ICF SUP World Championships 2019 in China, I have confidence in the team that there will be a few podium positions and that they will make South Africa proud.
“Our masters paddlers will also be in contention for sure,” she added.
“With Evette Terblanche in the 40+ Women category, Elmari Renecle in the 50+ Women category, Robert Fowler in the 40+ Men category and Gary van Rooyen and Guy Mottram in the 50+ Men category – we will see strong paddling and I will not be surprised to see some of them on the podium.”
The 2021 ICF SUP World Championships at Balatonfured will include sprint, distance and technical classes through junior, open and masters’ categories.
There will also be a race for inflatables as organisers and the ICF encourage less experienced SUP paddlers to give the sport a go.
Lake Balaton in Hungary will provide the backdrop for the world’s biggest SUP race in 2021, with Central Europe’s largest lake already a haven for paddlers each year.